Aneurysmal bone cystic lesions: value of genomic studies

Published online: Dec 27 2016

Christine GALANT, Pierre-Louis DOCQUIER, Geneviève AMEYE, Yves GUIOT, Jacques MALGHEM, Hélène A. POIREL

From the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels


Aneurysmal bone cystic (ABC) lesions can be primary or secondary (to a trauma or a pre-existing benign or malignant tumour). Specific translocations of the USP6 gene are reported in about 70% of primary but never in secondary ABC lesions. We report two cases of ABC lesions in which imbalanced genomic aberrations were detected at initial presentation and showed complex clonal evolution. These demonstrative observations strengthen the guidelines regarding the diagnostic approach when an ABC is suggested by imaging. Biopsy is mandatory including genomic analysis. When a primary ABC is not clearly proven by the initial biopsy, an extensive curettage should be performed, with pathological examination of all removed tissue in order to exclude a secondary ABC. It also illustrates the added value of genomic analyses in the setting of an ABC lesion: complex clonal aberrations argues for a lesion secondary to a malignant proliferation whereas USP6 rearrangement allows the diagnosis of primary ABC.